Damaraland & Kaokoland – Finally!

Wild Dog Adventure Riding

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Rooies

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You know that Divorce Pass is up ahead once you see the riverbed and greenery breaking up the moon-like landscape.

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Rodger can't stop enjoying himself, it is contagious.

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Rooies

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It was mentioned earlier in this report that Johan had had a terrible off the year previously on this same trip. The fall happened more or less here, and Johan will tell you that he remembered overtaking someone and then,… nothing. The consequence was Johan almost losing his life. Upon hearing Johan’s condition from doctors in Windhoek, his one son, a doctor himself, informed his mother and other siblings that her husband and their father would most probably not survive.

But he did. And after a very long recovery process, not being able to work for 6 months, Johan was determined to conquer this quest. And he did so, swimmingly! I learnt a lot from this humble man in a short space of time and came to respect him immensely.

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Rooies

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The video above shows Johan cruising down Divorce Pass. The previous year, his fellow riders and the crew were strapping his torso up where we were standing now. He has no recollection of that.

Well played, meneer!
 

Rooies

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After we negotiate the somewhat tricky exit out of the Hugab river, we soldier on towards the abandoned Brandberg Mine.

We regroup, as agreed, every now and again as we go along and soon we are on terra firma, a wide gravel highway lying ahead of us. The plan is to take an obscure exit along the route and take a shortcut, hugging Brandberg mountain, towards White Lady Camp. Rodger and I are in front, and we both doubt the turn-off as indicated by the GPS once we reach it. I say to Rodger that I am going to go check it out and I head off into the veld, no tracks visible. Like the scene from Cool Hand Luke, or more famously for my time, the much acclaimed “Civil War” song by Guns’ n Roses, the following phrase jumps to mind: “What we’ve got here, is failure to communicate.”

I ride on into the veld, find the track not far off, and assume Rodger understood that I will be continuing on along the route if I find it. If I don’t find it, I will go back to the main road. Big mistake.

Well, I had the ride of my life. Riding for what felt like, and was, hours, skirting Brandberg, was magic. Never for one minute did I think that people might be concerned about me, or that I could be inconveniencing anyone whatsoever. I eventually met up with Rodger and all was good. Until the rest of the group started arriving. Turns out it was not the case.

@Johannesf, being one of the better riders in the group, was asked by Hardy that morning to take responsibility for the group from a rider perspective. And he did so with much aplomb. Alan and Sharon were doing the same as the recovery-vehicle crew. I later learnt that the entire group was very worried about me. Johannes, Ellio, Patty, Alan, Sharon. Once @Johannesf caught up with us he was visibly upset. I didn’t understand his reaction and shrugged it off. Rodger and I moved on.

Later that day, after the ride, @Johannesf again made clear his dissatisfaction, which again I couldn’t fathom. And herein lies the benefit of reflection. I have been thinking about this altercation and situation for some time and realised how inconsiderate I was in my actions. That the frustration shown that day came from a place of worry and concern. @Striggs also packaged it nicely for me and helped me understand it from a different perspective. (Thanks, Yoda).

@Johannesf, thanks for your concern, and thanks for the lessons learnt! In that desolate place you are taking risks. And riding alone escalates those risks significantly. I now fully understand where the anxiety and frustration came from. Dankie, en jammer, @Johannesf !

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Brandberg looming...

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hartebees

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Hierdie storie van die ryer wat oorlede is by die funduro bewys net weereens hoekom almal tereg bekommerd raak wanneer iemand alleen ry en niemand weet waar die persoon is nie. @Striggs en @Johannesf verstaan dit baie goed - mens moet dankbaar wees as daar sulke ouens saam met jou ry. Ons het amper vir @Parkinoff verloor 'n paar dae tevore. 'n Paar weke voor ons toer is 'n toeris in daardie omgewing oorlede weens dehidrasie nadat sy voertuig onklaar geraak het.
 
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@Rooies

Sulke dinge gebeur en 'n mens leer deur hierdie foute te maak. Johannes en Ellio was bekommerd, nie kwaad nie en as die situasie op 'n volgende toer met iemand anders gebeur sal jy met jou nuwe ondervinding waarskynlik ook bekommerd wees oor 'n "loner"
Ons ken jou gelukkig, en weet dat jy 'n baie verantwoordelike ryer is. Ons weet ook dat indien jy bewus was van die kommer oor jou, jy dadelik sou omdraai.
Niks fout met wat jy gedoen het in onkunde nie - Jou hart was op die regte plek.
Ek het dit ongelooflik baie geniet om saam met jou te toer en kan nie wag vir 'n volgende toer saam nie.
 
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This was
After we negotiate the somewhat tricky exit out of the Hugab river, we soldier on towards the abandoned Brandberg Mine.

We regroup, as agreed, every now and again as we go along and soon we are on terra firma, a wide gravel highway lying ahead of us. The plan is to take an obscure exit along the route and take a shortcut, hugging Brandberg mountain, towards White Lady Camp. Rodger and I are in front, and we both doubt the turn-off as indicated by the GPS once we reach it. I say to Rodger that I am going to go check it out and I head off into the veld, no tracks visible. Like the scene from Cool Hand Luke, or more famously for my time, the much acclaimed “Civil War” song by Guns’ n Roses, the following phrase jumps to mind: “What we’ve got here, is failure to communicate.”

I ride on into the veld, find the track not far off, and assume Rodger understood that I will be continuing on along the route if I find it. If I don’t find it, I will go back to the main road. Big mistake.

Well, I had the ride of my life. Riding for what felt like, and was, hours, skirting Brandberg, was magic. Never for one minute did I think that people might be concerned about me, or that I could be inconveniencing anyone whatsoever. I eventually met up with Rodger and all was good. Until the rest of the group started arriving. Turns out it was not the case.

@Johannesf, being one of the better riders in the group, was asked by Hardy that morning to take responsibility for the group from a rider perspective. And he did so with much aplomb. Alan and Sharon were doing the same as the recovery-vehicle crew. I later learnt that the entire group was very worried about me. Johannes, Ellio, Patty, Alan, Sharon. Once @Johannesf caught up with us he was visibly upset. I didn’t understand his reaction and shrugged it off. Rodger and I moved on.

Later that day, after the ride, @Johannesf again made clear his dissatisfaction, which again I couldn’t fathom. And herein lies the benefit of reflection. I have been thinking about this altercation and situation for some time and realised how inconsiderate I was in my actions. That the frustration shown that day came from a place of worry and concern. @Striggs also packaged it nicely for me and helped me understand it from a different perspective. (Thanks, Yoda).

@Johannesf, thanks for your concern, and thanks for the lessons learnt! In that desolate place you are taking risks. And riding alone escalates those risks significantly. I now fully understand where the anxiety and frustration came from. Dankie, en jammer, @Johannesf !

View attachment 777460


Brandberg looming...

View attachment 777461
This was such an amazing day. I think we all enjoyed it hugely.
 

McSack

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Lekker RR @Rooies . I've got to make a plan to get back up there . Maybe next year.
 

Rooies

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The approach towards Brandberg is nothing less than spectacular.

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I came across a number of these natural phenomena. The Welwitschia, Tweeblaarkanniedood in Afrikaans, is commonly referred to as a living fossil. These unique plants are endemic to this region and can live for well over a thousand years.

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Seems like the raw beauty was too much and I ran out of words in this video 😊




Riding on the little tweespoor track, kilometre after kilometre, I get into the zone. Like when you do long distance running, and your subconsciousness activates and takes over.



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Five kilometres before White Lady Camp, the South Coast Silver Bullet, Rodger Dodger, runs out of fuel. Having learnt a trick from @Parkinoff earlier in the trip we siphon off fuel from my bike. Rodger has a folded-up container in his backpack, specifically for this kind of emergency, knowing the limitations of his fuel tank.

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Rooies

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It seems like the other route to White Lady camp was just as amazing. Thanks for the photos, @NIMMO (y)

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This one from @hartebees, who has a way with the camera!

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Rooies

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Arriving at White Lady Lodge the group descends on the bar and pool area for the last time. We exchange war stories, enjoy good pizzas and beers and all are generally both relaxed and elated.




These guys are local inhabitants at the lodge and provide a lot of entertainment.



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@FredK, our in-house meerkat tamer:

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@ETS had a run-in with fence in a riverbed earlier that day. The restaurant was transformed into a field-hospital and @Gerryb was very happy to finally make use of all the kit he had brought along.

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That flippin toe:

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We have a sundowner overlooking the desert for the last time.

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Rooies

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It's off to camp and the last night I will be sleeping under the stars.

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I fall asleep that night with my earphones plugged in listening to one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite artists:

 

BuRP

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Here is some GoPro footage of our riding on Day 4 & 5. Epupa to Marble Camp, over Van Zyl's Pass and through the Marienfluss.



Pragtige video Jaco ............ maar jirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre tog, jy kreun daai arme 650 wragtig tot die absolute minimum - in TWEEDE rat!
Ek haat dit, en gooi laglag eerste rat in - sodat my handlebars & ek pelle bly EN elk hul eie ding doen, ek like nie as die twee saamkom nie 😋
 
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